Join Get Fit Great Falls for National Trails Day on June 2 for an educational walk in town or an easy to difficult hike in the surrounding area. Great Falls holds the largest number of hikes IN THE COUNTRY to celebrate National Trails Day, and all hikes are free. With more added this year, you’ll find a hike that fits your needs, from walk and talks, kid-friendly hikes, to moderate and difficult day hikes. What hike will you do to renew your spirit and enjoy the great outdoors?
For an easy hike, join Erin and Derrick Merchant on the West Bank Loop. This 3-mile route will lead you from bridge to bridge along the River’s Edge Trail. You will cross the Missouri River at Central Avenue West bridge, stroll along the West Bank park, viewing the waterfowl and Urban Art as you head to the 9th Street Bridge. From there, you will walk the other side of the river by the Dog Park and end up where you started, completing the circle back to Gibson Park.
Another easy hike is one that takes you to Memorial Falls. Join retired Forest Service geologist Robin Strathy and visit this gem of a waterfall, nestled in the Little Belt Mountains. We follow a pretty creek uphill to the major waterfall, where we will stop to enjoy it and eat our lunch. Then we will continue up a short, steep section to a smaller upper waterfall and continue along the creek for another half mile.
If you’re up for a challenge, Join Camille Consolvo and Mike Dannells for a hike along the Continental Divide Trail. Wildflowers will line our path all the way and culminate in a glorious display of alpine flowers including thousands of forget-me-nots on the ridge top. The hike is steep, so you’ll need to be in shape for hiking for two hours uphill. This is grizzly bear country; please bring bear spray and be bear aware. This is an early season hike, so there may be sections of trail that are snow covered.
Special thanks to Camille Consolvo, past President of Get Fit Great Falls and hike coordinator for National Trails Day.